Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kennel Club Unveils Worst Idea Ever

The Kennel Club has taken a lot of flack in the UK due to a backwards system of rewarding show dogs who conform to breed standards based on looks rather than health, temperament and functionality as a pet (whether that be as a lap dog, sheepdog, hunting companion, etc.). Yup, the state of purebred dogs is quite a mess thanks to the Kennel Club (and other similar organizations including the American Kennel Club). So what should be done? The Kennel Club has come up with a solution. How does this idea grab you?: Take the group responsible for the mess and give them legal authority to shut down dog breeders if they find you don't comply with their rules. Sounds like a reallyterribleawful idea? Well to be fair, the Kennel Club does say that first, it's going to review its rules. Then they want the power grab. Yeah, it still sounds dreadful to me too. And a dangerous precedent setting case if it goes into effect. Other kennel clubs may try to follow suit. Additional restricting laws may be enacted in future using the Kennel Club's legal powers as precedent.

For breeders of dogs not recognized by the Kennel Club, breeders of mixed breed dogs, breeders who rely on experience, personal judgment and veterinary consultation to determine their breeding decisions - this would be the end of your breeding programs. For pet owners who want any of the previously mentioned dogs, you'd be out of luck. And for anyone who values personal freedoms at home - so sorry.

We all want healthy, happy dogs. Starting from there, we need to address the real issues - the problems brought about by closed stud books, popular sire syndrome and dog shows just to name a few. We do not need more restrictions and definitely not more restrictions imposed by the people who dragged us into this hole. You know the saying, "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." To which I would add: Do not hand out shovels to the Kennel Club!



A better idea: The Norwegian Kennel Club has a plan which advocates "recommendations, education and cooperation with the breeders and breed clubs. It is our true belief that this is far more beneficial to the dogs' health and welfare than heavy restrictions. The goal in modern dog breeding is that all dogs shall be functionally healthy, with a construction and a mentality typical to the breed, and will live a long, healthy and happy life." Well that sounds pretty good akshually. Read more here.

2 comments:

smartdogs said...

The German breed warden system has a lot of good aspects too. Before they got sucked into the AKC's evil vortex the Leonberger Club of America had an excellent system with a "breeding acceptability checklist" that included a temperament test and lots of required health clearances.

IMO putting the Kennel Club in charge is *exactly like* asking the fox to guard the hen house.

Caveat said...

Kind of like re-electing the GOP.